Austrian director Jessica Hausner will head the jury at the upcoming Locarno Film Festival, which will be held Aug. 7-17. The 77th edition of the festival will see the return of Hausner who, in 1997, was awarded in Locarno itself for her short film Flora, establishing herself on the international scene. Her first two feature films, Lovely Rita (2001) and Hotel (2004), debuted in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes, and it was with the film Lourdes (2009), in competition at that year’s Venice Film Festival and winner of the FIPRESCI award, that Hausner became in effect one of the leading lights of contemporary cinema.

“Besides being a great honor, it is an immense pleasure for me to chair the main jury of this year’s Locarno Film Festival. My responsibility will be first and foremost to listen respectfully to the various opinions of my fellow members, because I truly believe that everyone has a different view of a film and that each perspective constitutes an interesting point of discussion. Locarno is a festival that is capable of appreciating the most artistic and original approaches and thus enhancing the vanguard of world cinema. I am happy to be able to contribute to this goal: in my opinion, making films means challenging our points of view to find new and unusual ways of looking at things,” said Jessica Hausner.

On July 10, a press conference will announce the full program of the Festival, which will see, among other things, the jury chaired by the director present the Padro d’Oro on the closing night.

“A vital and restless filmmaker, Jessica Hausner has created a rich and diverse body of work capable of reflecting with extreme depth the most hidden aspects of our society. With lucid constancy and impeccable progression, she has imagined and constructed interior and fantastic worlds to which her gaze has bestowed the fruitful richness of a complex and contradictory human experience. To have Jessica Hausner as jury president of the Locarno Film Festival’s Concorso Internazionale is a great honor and a guarantee: the films presented at the Festival will be judged by a jury led by one of the most extraordinary filmmakers working,” said Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director of the Festival.

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